Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Special Gift

  This year we witnessed the marriage of our eldest child - quite a milestone by anyone's reckoning I think.  Given that quilts are a traditional means of marking such milestones, it was only fitting that I should make one as a wedding gift.
I struggled for months trying to figure out what to make, what colors to use, what pattern, what about backing and a quilting design?  I wanted a timeless sort of quilt that would be useful and lovely for years to come and classic colors that would not go out of style.
Finally I settled on a black/white/red combination of fabrics from the Black, White & Currant series from Color Principle for Henry Glass Fabrics.  I chose fabrics from series 4, 5 and 6 - a total of 14 different fabrics for the top.  I purchased fabrics mostly from which is one of my favorite sources, but also from River City Quilts and Beverly's Quilts as well.
Then I moved onto deciding about a pattern.  This was much harder as the tendonitis issue in my hand is not 100% resolved so I needed to be sure I was not going to cripple myself in the attempt and wind up not being able to complete the quilt in time for the wedding.  I finally chose a disappearing 9-patch that worked up nicely and was fairly easy in cutting so that I didn't re-aggravate the injured hand too much.
On to construction:

The block is fairly straight-forward to make, starting with a simple 9 patch (top), then cutting through the center in both directions (middle), finally - rotate two opposite corners and re-sew to create the sort of figure-8 design (bottom).  There are several wonderful tutorials available on the web if you are interested in more step-by-step instructions.

I made LOTS of blocks - working my way through, trying to evenly distribute all the various fabrics. Every 9-patch had a red center (using 1 of 3 fabrics).  The blacks (5 different ones) and the white/grays (6 different ones), made up the outside patches.  When cut and resewn, the blacks were all narrow bands and the white/grays were all the larges blocks.
Then everything went up on my design wall and my ever-helpful daughter Jessica provided invaluable assistance to rotate, re-arrange, and critique until we settles on a layout that pleased us both.

Gypsy offering her help as well

Saffron needed to be sure the needle was threaded correctly for me
First border was one of the reds to define the edges
Final border was a black to give it a finished look

The backing is a white/gray 108" print from Color Folio by Color Principle for Henry Glass that I thought coordinated nicely, and the quilting pattern I used is called 'Interlocking Hearts' done in King Tut: 'Rosetta Stone' variegated thread by Superior Thread. 

On the frame being quilted

Binding is done in the same backing fabric.  Attached by machine and then hand-finished.

Gypsy supervising binding work on the machine
And holding down the quilt for me while I do hand-finishing
Steve took several photos of the finished quilt for me.

Backing with sunlight behind

Finished it covers the entire top of a queen sized bed though I didn't write down what the actual measurements were when I was done.  One of these days I'll remember to take better notes of all the vital details and probably should start taking photos of all the fabrics before I start cutting.